Heating and Ventilating


A crystal-clear guide to commercial water treatment

Chris Caton, product manager at Ideal Commercial Boilers, highlights the key takeaways for commercial applications from the newly launched Industrial and Commercial Energy Association (ICOM) water treatment and conditioning guide.

Historically, commercial heating systems have not had the same level of industry guidance regarding water treatment as domestic installations. The Water Treatment and Conditioning of Commercial Heating Systems guide, published recently by ICOM, changes this situation. It sets out best practice and tackles the issue of poor water treatment in commercial heating systems, from design considerations for new systems through to analysing water in existing systems. The guide informs readers of the consequences of not adequately treating water and provides advice on how to make heating systems operate more efficiently, as well as avoiding failure. The guide was produced with input from industry professionals, including Ideal’s contributor to the guide, Andrew Dabin. 

Five facts on the ICOM water treatment guide

  • Water treatment for domestic heating systems has been very well defined and, in most cases, implemented effectively. In comparison, for commercial systems this has not been the case, causing a range of issues related to fouling, biofouling, corrosion and limescale.
  • This guide provides everyone involved in water treatment, from specifiers to maintenance contractors, with a definitive guide to how they should identify the best water treatment regime for a particular system and implement it effectively.
  • The guide notes that system designers have an opportunity to assess suitable water treatment methods from the outset, based on the specified mechanical equipment and pipework for the project.
  • The guide stresses the importance of establishing the water volume of the system so the correct proportions of treatment can be formulated.
  • The guide also details each step required for effective water treatment, from initial cleaning (including cleaning methodologies) and flushing, to suitable ongoing treatment.

ICOM aims to engage in all aspects of energy-related business activities, working closely with government, non-governmental offices, research establishments and industry trade associations to encourage environmental sustainability.

Water treatment in heating systems is essential for their efficient operation, and there has been a real lack of clear guidance as to what constitutes best practice in water treatment for commercial heating systems. However, for the first time, there is a comprehensive guide available covering every aspect of water treatment and its importance, produced by boiler manufacturers and water treatment companies.  

18 July 2017


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